Ted Simons: Every 20 seconds a diabetes patient undergoes a limb amputation. But a new Arizona start-up company called Intelliwound is using tracking technology to combat diabetic complications before they become severe. Producer Kevin Reagan and videographer Santiago Bahti, along with editor Jennifer Frederickson have the story.
Kevin Reagan: Intelliwound is a new start-up company aiming to reduce the number of diabetic amputations.
Bharara Manish: In the U.S. there are approximately 85,000 amputations yearly, and each costs about $100,000 or more.
Kevin Reagan: The Maguire center for entrepreneurship is supporting Intelliwound to develop a special bandage that goes over diabetic foot ulcers at risk for infection.
Bharara Manish: We are actually providing patients a simple device that goes on and is not obtrusive for them, doesn't affect their care but provides continuous stream of data to the patient and to the physician which actually enables you to identify problems before they happen.
Todd Fanciullo: Take the bandage, apply it to my hand and you'll see the temperature increase on it.
Kevin Reagan: The device is called iWARM, which stands for wound analytical retriever meter.
Bharara Manish: Every time there's a dressing change there will be a new smart iWARM device put on the wound.
Kevin Reagan: Multiple sensors within the bandage measure the wound's temperature. The numbers then transmit to a tracking device.
Bharara Manish: That tracker could be an app on a patient's cell phone, it could be a standalone device that a patient could have in a pocket that just signals to the patient in case there are problem events.
Todd Fanciullo: We're doing a lot of engineering to make the prototype we have now more practical. The prototype we have right now was approved a concept, it's large, and we're working on technology to shrink that down.
David Armstrong: It would be great to be able to have this kind of information at hand so that we can quantify what we're doing, especially when it's covered up by something.
Kevin Reagan: Dr. Armstrong, the director of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance, a clinic that treats patients with diabetic foot ulcers.
David Armstrong: Our group collectively is the largest in the world dedicated toward amputation prevention, toward healing wounds and ultimately preventing wounds.
Kevin Reagan: Dr. Armstrong says treatment for diabetic foot ulcers costs more than the five most expensive types of cancer.
David Armstrong: If you could have a bandage that could accurately get at that mild infection early on, while it's mild, the risk for a mild infection to be admitted to hospital is very low. We believe Intelliwound may be one of those really smart technologies that helps us identify problems even before they become significant.
Kevin Reagan: Intelliwound anticipates their product to also be used on bed sores and surgical wounds.
Unknown: And how much did you apply by the way?
Unknown patient: Twenty-five platelet (inaudible).
Bharara Manish: As we grow, as we expand our reach and test the product clinically, we'll be able to test it for other kinds of wounds.
Todd Fanciullo: I think things are going pretty well.
Ted Simons: You can find out more about the company at its website, Intelliwound.com.
Friday on "Arizona Horizon" it's "The Journalists' Round Table." A congressman Matt salmon calls on state Attorney General Tom Horne to drop his reelection bid and a special session is called to overhaul the state's child safety system. Those stories and more Friday, on "The Journalists' Round Table." And a reminder, attorney general Tom Horne was to appear on tonight's program to address election law allegations and violations, but yesterday the attorney general's office told us that because General Horne is representing himself against those claims, he will not appear on the program until he officially files that response.
That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.